Sanofi to Tap Owkin’s AI for Oncology Pipeline

23.11.2021 - French drugmaker Sanofi is taking an equity stake worth $180 million in and entering a new strategic collaboration with artificial intelligence (AI) and precision medicine specialist Owkin.

The combined effort will help build robust disease models while preserving privacy of large data sets from various research institutions and hospitals, Sanofi said.

The collaboration will see Sanofi make a total payment of $90 million for three years, plus additional research milestone-based payments. The work that will extend to discovery and development programs in four types of cancer, with predictive biomedical AI models, will support the Paris-based pharma’s growing oncology portfolio in core areas such as lung cancer, breast cancer and multiple myeloma.

Sanofi said Owkin’s strengths in AI, such as its federated learning approach that protects privacy by allowing data scientists to securely connect to decentralized, multi-party data sets without having to pool data, will complement its own emerging strength in oncology and allow it to advance precision medicine to the next level and find innovative new treatment methods for cancer.

Specifically, the drugmaker will leverage the Owkin platform to find new biomarkers and therapeutic targets, building prognostic models and predicting response to treatment from multimodal patient data. By the reverse token, the Sanofi’s capital injection will support its partner’s goal to upgrade its leading histology and genomic cancer database from top oncology centers.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist